People Protesting in Jerusalem, Israel

More than 100,000 Israelis took to the street on Saturday in Israel to voice their opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul plans, which has become a weekly tradition until the measures are killed. 

Netanyahu said he would put the plans on hold to prevent a “civil war,” but these protesters, who have been taking to the streets for over three months, say the pause is not good enough and the plans need to be scrapped. 

The Israeli leader also rejected claims in the recent U.S. leaks that top Mossad officials supported these protests across the country.

“The truth is that the Mossad legal adviser said that under Israeli law, junior members of Mossad can participate in demonstrations, not senior members,” he said. “That’s, I think, what led to this misunderstanding. No, I think the Mossad, the military, the internal security services, are working hand-in-hand with me as prime minister to assure the security of the country, and they’re doing a damn good job of it.”

Simcha Rothman who is a member of the Knesset for the far-right Religious Zionist party, told The Guardian that these protesters are just looking for something to complain about because they’ve already decided to be in opposition to Netanyahu’s far-right government.

“When you drill down, the protests are about … distrust in government,” he told the paper. “Many of these people, they’re not conspiracy theorists. They know there’s a need for change, but they think, ‘We don’t trust you people to do it, because you are religious and conservative, and the prime minister has three indictments.’”

He said: “The fight to bring down this government was well planned, and if it wasn’t the reforms, it would be some other issue.”

TREND FORECAST: Again, as we have repeatedly forecast, the more pressure put on Netanyahu by the citizens of Israel, the greater his escalation of war against Syria, Palestinians, and Iran. As Gerald Celente notes: “When all else fails, they take you to war.” The greater the Israeli military conflicts, the less concern and coverage of the people protesting against Netanyahu’s judicial reform package. 

TRENDPOST: The Trends Journal has reported extensively on how Netanyahu’s government’s attempt to overhaul the country’s judicial system that critics say weakens the judiciary and gives lawmakers more power. (See “NETANYAHU BENDS, MAKES AMENDMENTS TO JUDICIAL OVERHAUL” 21 Mar 2023, “FRACTURES WITH AMERICAN JEWS EMERGE AFTER NETANYAHU’S JUDICIAL POWER-GRAB” 4 Apr 2023 and “AUSTIN’S MEETING WITH NETANYAHU HAD TO BE RELOCATED AMID PROTESTS” 14 March 2023.)

Netanyahu has been critical of protesters as provocateurs, and he took particular issue with the reservists who threatened to strike.

His justice minister, Yariv Levin, wants lawmakers to be able to override Supreme Court decisions. The country’s judges are currently nominated by other judges, but Levin wants the Knesset to take over these nominations. The Knesset would also be able to overrule court decisions with a simple majority.

We’ve also reported how Israel’s latest attacks on Palestinians have put a strain on its relationship with the U.S. (See “MIDDLE EAST MELTDOWN: ISRAELI ‘SETTLERS’ ATTACK PALESTINIAN VILLAGES IN OCCUPIED WEST BANK,” 28 Feb 2023.)

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